Countryside Golf Club Overview
In the July 1st, 1927 Chicago Tribune, an ad for Countryside Golf Club said “the course is very sporty, and the scenic setting ideal.” A subsequent ad boasted “grass tees, interesting traps and bunkers, and large velvety greens.” It cost $1 to play on the weekdays back then, and $2 on the weekends. This historic club has been part of the Lake County golf tradition for nearly a century, and when you play here, you are continuing that legacy.
Back in when it opened in 1927, there was only one course here, but now there are two. Owned by the Lake County Forest Preserves since 1977, Countryside offers golfers two distinct playing experiences. The Traditional Course is the historic one from 1927, while the Prairie Course was opened in the 1990’s. Each has a different feel, but both are imbued with natural beauty, validated by Countryside’s Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary certification since 1996.
Countryside’s practice facility is top notch, offering a grass tee driving range, along with a huge putting green and a separate green for chipping. The pro shop is on the smaller side and is mostly a functional affair to get you on the golf course. There’s not a tremendous amount of gear for sale, despite it supporting two full-length golf courses. There is a bar and small indoor seating area to dine at; they serve staples like burgers, dogs, brats, pizza, and sandwiches. An outdoor patio also fronts the clubhouse.
Countryside’s Prairie course is the flatter of the two tracks here, and has wider fairways to receive your ordnance. However, there is also tall grass and fescue that swallows up your golf balls if you miss the short grass. At 6,757 yards, it’s 360 yards longer than the Traditional course. It’s also marginally more difficult, with a stroke rating of 72.0, one stroke tougher than its sibling. Water is in play on 8 of the 18 holes here.
The Prairie course has larger greens than the Traditional course, but they can be very tricky. Plus, as you’d expect, there’s a lot fewer trees on this track, and they’re smaller (and younger). Interestingly, this course doesn’t have squared-off tee boxes, like the Traditional course does.